Size matters

Comparison may be odious but, when it comes to size, comparison is also inevitable. People compare sizes of salaries, swimming pools, cars and homes. When it comes to body parts comparison still goes on but it is done with more discretion. One body part that is open to comparison though is your nose and a new study has shown that, as a gender, men have bigger probosci than women and the researchers think they know why.

The study involved people who were followed from three years of age until their mid-20s. Each subject had internal and external measurements of their nose taken at regular intervals during the course of the study.

The results showed that from birth until puberty boys and girls have the same nose size but after puberty things change. Once the hormones of adolescence wreak their dreadful sculpture the noses of boys grow to an average 10 per cent greater size than those of girls. This was true even if the body size between a boy and a girl was the same.

The researchers believe that the difference occurs because men generally have more lean muscle mass than women. As a result they need more oxygen to encourage muscle growth and maintenance. Hence the nose becomes larger to allow inhalation of more oxygen. A massive honker doesn’t just get tacked onto a male face though, as males tend to have a larger face for a given body size when compared to females even as early as age three.

According to the researchers this also explains why humans today have smaller noses than did our ancestors. Our ancestors had more lean muscle mass due to a harsher lifestyle and grew larger noses to provide that muscle with oxygen.

It’s all as plain as the nose on your face really.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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